Photo by Kris Hanning
It takes a special kind of woman to be a mom. Five local ladies will be honored for their commitment to their families and their communities at Tu Nidito’s Remarkable Celebration, held Saturday, May 12 at Loews Ventana Canyon. The event will feature a cocktail party, music and entertainment, dinner, a live auction and a tribute to the honorees. Tu Nidito Children and Family Services, which provides support to children and families dealing with serious medical conditions and grief, created the fundraiser as a way to recognize some of the extraordinary mothers in our area. Many families that the organization serves are led by moms who found the courage and strength to help their families face extreme challenges.
Several of this year’s honorees had to cope with the death or serious illness of a child, and all of them have had an important impact in their own families and children in our community.
The Remarkable Celebration
May 12, 6 p.m.
Loews Ventana Canyon
Tickets: $175; $2100 for a reserved table for 12
For more information, call 322-9155 or check www.tunidito.org.
Two years ago, Marjorie Rees and her husband, Dwight, started Gut Check Foundation to promote research into Clostridium septicum infections, a bacterium they had never heard of before 2008. In the summer of 2008, Margie and Dwight learned that their only child had leukemia. After just one month of chemotherapy, 19-year-old Andrew was in remission, but the treatment suppressed his immune system. “Andrew beat leukemia, but he died from the effects of this infection,” Margie says.
Margie honors the memory of her only child by helping to ensure that treatments for this infection are developed so that other families do not experience what she and her husband did.
On Jan. 8, 2011, Roxanna Green became the face of motherhood for the nation when her nine-year-old daughter, Christina-Taylor, was killed in the shooting that injured former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and took the lives of five others.
Roxanna is now the CEO of the Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Foundation, an organization she founded to provide grants for community projects that embody her daughter’s interests.
Roxanna has spent the year since her daughter’s death working to ensure that Christina-Taylor’s legacy endures. “As a parent, I believe that we all want to make our children’s hopes come true,” she says. “I want to do everything possible to make my daughter’s dreams come to life.”
In 2006, Jackie Tofel’s husband Andy was diagnosed with cancer. Jackie saw that their two young children, Sydney and Josh, needed a place to share their sadness and fear. The Tofels began attending a Tu Nidito group for children who have a parent diagnosed with a serious illness. For four years, Jackie has been a role model in the adult group, welcoming new members and nurturing them as they experience the most difficult times imaginable.
Despite Andy’s death last year, Jackie remains positive. She attributes her positivity to her deep faith. “For my family, God is the center of our lives, and we’ve never lost sight of that,” she says.
When Kim Bourn moved to Tucson 19 years ago, she was an avid runner who ran in memory of a dear friend who died of cancer. “When I found out Tucson didn’t have a Race for the Cure, I thought, ‘I want to help Tucson have this race,’” Kim says. She was the chair for the first Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Southern Arizona, and later became the Southern Arizona affiliate’s executive director. The experience transformed Kim’s life and launched her career in public health.
Kim continues to be an advocate for public health in Tucson, working with Critical Path Institute and volunteering with many public health organizations while she and her husband Don raise three young children, Austin, Lindon, and Tanner.
Dr. Jody Comstock
Dr. Jody Comstock has touched the lives of many through a career centered on healing and a life focused on sharing in the journeys of others.
As a mom of four — Jamie, Carter, Kelly, and Tyler — with husband Dr. Frank Comstock, Jody knows the importance of celebrating our children every day. She is actively involved with the Dream Street Foundation, which provides programs for seriously ill children. Jody recently played an extraordinary role in helping a young man through his brain cancer treatment and then supported his family throughout their grieving process. “I continue to be humbled and inspired by how many opportunities each of us is given to touch another person’s life,” Jody says.